It’s been far too long since I’ve last blogged (tut tut me…), but here is some inspiration for all of us to help us come up with blog ideas and motivate us to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!)…
You’ve heard that it’s good to have a blog – that it will help boost your SEO, drive traffic to your website, engage with your target audiences, generate more leads and even help increase sales. So you add a blog page to your website, but then what?
People have different views on how often you should update your blog. Some bloggers will update their site daily, or even several times a day, but in the early days I think if you can aim for once a week then that’s a great starting point.
But what do you blog about? Where can you find your inspiration?
- Choose your topics: Readers are more likely to revisit a blog if they know what sort of content to expect, so it’s a good idea to try and stick to a few topics. These topics should also reflect your business and be of interest to your target audience.
- Tap into the news agenda: Thinking about your chosen topics, scan your favourite news website or listen to the headlines on the radio first thing in the morning and see if there is anything that affects you, your business or your target audiences. You don’t need to regurgitate the whole story in your blog, adding a link to the relevant page will provide the reader with all the background information they need. Instead, let your readers know what your thoughts are on the story or how you think the news could impact your sector or customers.
- Promote yourself: No one likes listening to (or reading the blog posts of!) people who just talk about themselves time and time again, but the occasional update on your business activity is likely to be well received by your readers. As well as business news (eg announcements about new partnerships or contracts, or updates about new members of the team), you can also show the fun side of your business by blogging about the social side of your business.
- Offer advice: You will (hopefully!) be something of an expert in your field, so why not offer advice or top tips to highlight your knowledge, skills and experience?
- Other voices: You don’t need to blog all by yourself. Why not get other people in the business, or even third parties, to write a blog too?
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to blog about, you then need to actually sit down and write it (sometimes easier said than done!). Some tips to bear in mind when writing…
- Don’t be over promotional: Even if you are talking about yourself and/or your business don’t be too pushy or sales-driven in your tone and content.
- Vary the style and length: People don’t generally want to read really long blog posts (and you probably don’t want to write really long ones either!), but sometimes more words are required if you’re going into more detail about a topic. Variation is the spice of life, so mix up the lengths and styles of your blog posts – some could simply be a few photos with captions, while others could be in a Q&A or list format.
- Check your spelling: As well as looking more professional, good spelling and punctuation can also avoid any embarrassing mistakes.
Finally, once you’ve drafted and uploaded your blog – your hard work doesn’t stop there. You need to direct people to your blog. Unsurprisingly, social media is great to do this. Don’t be afraid to post a link to your blog more than once. If you post a link to your blog at the weekend, it’s worth posting it again during the week as you’ll catch a different audience.
Think about how different social media channels are used. For example, while you’re limited to 140 characters on Twitter (but remember to leave some spare so that people can retweet your blog without having to edit your original tweet), you might want to go into more detail on LinkedIn so that you can generate a discussion around your blog post with people in your network.
You could also add a link to your blog on your email signature or add a roundup of your latest blogs on an e-newsletter.